“La Regenta” is a novel that was written by Leopoldo Alas, “Clarín”. The novel was first published in 1884. The author used Vetusta (Oviedo) as a symbol of hypocrisy and ignorance in the Spanish society of the late nineteenth century.
Ana Ozores is a young, beautiful and cultured woman married to the ex- magistrate of the city, Victor Quintanar. He is a good, educated man in his sixties that behaves more like a father than like a husband to her.
As he was appointed regent of Vetusta’s audience, Ana was known worldwide as “La Regenta”.
She feels physically and spiritually ignored by her husband. He spends his life hunting, breeding birds and reciting honour passages. Also, she feels absolutely frustrated in that stupid and hypocritical society.
Trying to solve her hesitations, she makes her confession to the priest Fermín de Pas, her spiritual guide. He is an attractive powerful churchman thirty five years old that falls in love with her. She is horrified and rejects him. On the other hand, Alvaro Mesía, the leader of liberal Dynastic Party, a superficial, elegant womanizer, becomes aware of Ana’s attraction to him. Finally she gives in to his advances and keeps an adulterous affair with him.
When the priest realizes that, he manages to awake Ana’s husband. As the heroes of the Spanish dramas he challenges Alvaro to a duel but is killed by a shot. Then Mesía abandons Ana and the city.
Finally, she suffers rejection and ostracism from her community.
By María Tomás. C1